The Discourse has been asking Nanaimoites if they want in-depth local news. The answer we heard back is, yes!
That’s why we’re excited to announce that we are moving forward with The Discourse Nanaimo.
To date, The Discourse has been working to develop a new model for local news, starting in the Cowichan Valley. This year, we heard from people in Nanaimo saying that they wanted this kind of journalism too.
Coming into a new community is exciting for us, and it’s a big deal. So, on Nov. 23, we launched a campaign to get 5,000 people to sign up to say they wanted in-depth journalism in Nanaimo. While we’re still not quite at that number, thousands of people have responded with enthusiasm for in-depth local news in Nanaimo.
Beyond the 3,400 people who have officially signed-up, we’ve seen a lot of other reasons to believe our work is wanted and needed:
- Reporter Julie Chadwick’s reporting has been widely read and shared — the A&B sound building story continues to be the top story on our website.
- More than 30 people have stepped up to financially support our work in Nanaimo.
- Over a dozen people joined for our first virtual newsroom.
- We’ve received more than 100 responses to our Nanaimo news survey, with people putting forward a lot of stories that clearly need to be told.
- Last week, CHLY FM’s Sweet and Sour Variety Hour host Ashta McIntosh not only read Julie’s A&B Sound story on air, but stepped up to launch a Founding Supporter campaign to make The Discourse Nanaimo possible.
- And, Founding Supporter contributions are being matched using grant funding from Vancouver Foundation.
So it’s based on all of this, that we’ve made the exciting decision to make The Discourse Nanaimo permanent.
What does that mean? For the rest of 2020, Julie Chadwick is going to keep sharing stories connected to buildings in downtown Nanaimo. In the new year, we will launch a Nanaimo-specific newsletter, engage with you on what we should dig into next, host virtual newsrooms and keep building our social media presence.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and sign-up up for our email updates to stay tuned.